Ministry: Christian Education in the Northwestern and Norwayne Public Schools
Missionaries: Tracey Price, Beth Terwilliger, Chad Palmer, Josh Chaffin
We have a unique opportunity to share the gospel with public school students K-8th grade during their school day each week. There is, no doubt, a decline in church attendance, so our mission focus is to share the life changing message of Jesus with children and give them an opportunity to respond.
Released Time programs represent a powerful way to reach children whose parents are not believers or active in church. Parents find it a good way to give their children some “religious training.”
The book of Matthew, chapter 19, makes it clear that children are loved and valued by Jesus, and not to be overlooked. While children may not fully understand repentance and faith, the Holy Spirit does not limit His activity to adults. The seeds of faith can take root in children very young, even if it takes many years to actually see the fruit. We must be praying for the hearts of these children to be open to the gospel and to choose to follow Jesus. We also must build relationships with these little ones so we can let the light of Jesus shine through us.
In Matthew 9 and 1Timothy 2, we are reminded of the ripe harvest and of God’s desire for everyone to be saved and know truth. Statistically, just over 30% of children ages 5-13 accept Christ. For those 14-18 years old, 14% respond and 6% of those 19 and up. There is simply no better time than right now to reach the children for Jesus.
Meeting the spiritual needs of children today by presenting the gospel and building relationships is critical. Released time programs are a wonderful and effective way to point children to Jesus.
The Northwestern campus has an 87% participation rate in elementary school and the Norwayne campus 95%. The middle schools at both campuses have much lower participation numbers due to scheduling and other opportunities offered during the school day.
Our program relies heavily on the participation of our MANY volunteers (over 80) and the prayers and financial support of area churches and individuals.
Please be in prayer for the hearts of our teachers to be like the heart of Jesus toward the children, for boldness to share the gospel, and for our eyes to be open to the various spiritual and physical needs of the students, and that the children would respond to the gospel.